You work in the insulation industry, and you come down with a case of mesothelioma, an asbestos-caused cancer closely linked with the insulation and construction injury.
While an employer might be very eager to assert that your cancer diagnosis could have arisen from any number of sources, New Jersey employers don’t have it that easy. Presumption laws cover many occupational diseases.
What is presumption?
Presumption shifts the burden of proof from you, the employee, to the employer. If they want to avoid paying workers’ compensation, they will have to prove that their work environment didn’t cause cancer.
Presumption laws have existed since 1921. They were established in WWI, allowing veterans a clearer path to proving their tuberculosis and certain psychiatric disorders were related to their service.
New Jersey Presumption Laws
In New Jersey, the Canzanella Twenty-First Century First Responders Protection Act protects the right of employees to receive workers’ compensation when they contract certain occupational diseases unless the employer fails to make use of PPE provided by the employer for the purposes of protecting them from said diseases.
It specifically creates a presumption that cancer arose as the result of employment any time a first responder falls victim to firefighting-linked cancer, as outlined by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The Act then specifically lists other occupational diseases that gain automatic presumptive protection for first responders only.
Note: presumption does not automatically ensure that you will “win” a workers’ compensation case. Employers still balk at paying long-term disability in many cases and often look for any method they can find to undermine the claim. Nevertheless, it is a legal precedent that a trained workers’ compensation lawyer can use on your behalf.
Get Help Today
Workers’ compensation cases can get complex very quickly. Because New Jersey law does not codify specific conditions and presumptions for anyone other than first responders, it will be up to the skill of your lawyer to help to prove that presumption should apply in your case or to use a likely finding of presumption to pressure your employer into an advantageous settlement.
If you’re struggling to recoup your workers’ compensation benefits, don’t delay. Call Talone Law for a free consultation today.